Adding Foreign Content to your Legal Research

When should you consider reviewing decisions from foreign jurisdictions when conducting legal research? Does it depend on the issue – is it so localized that only Manitoba decisions will be persuasive? Or is it national in scope, so looking at other Canadian jurisdictions is helpful? Or, do you need to go even further, to international common law jurisdictions?

The authors of A Global Community of Courts? Modelling the Use of Persuasive Authority as a Complex Network examined the contents of the vLex database (available to you behind the Members Portal) “to quantify the flow of jurisprudence across the countries in our corpus and to explore the factors that may influence a judge’s selection of foreign jurisprudence.”

If judges are looking at it, shouldn’t you? Our subscription to vLex includes Canadian, U.S. and U.K. decisions. If you need help using it, review our guide or view the introductory webinar available after signing in to the members portal.

There is a growing discussion in the legal literature of an emerging global community of courts composed of a network of increasing judicial dialogue across national borders. We investigate the use of foreign persuasive authority in common law countries by analyzing the network of citations to case law in a corpus of over 1.5 million judgments given by the senior courts of twenty-six common law countries.

A Global Community of Courts? Modelling the Use of Persuasive Authority as a Complex Network

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